Navigating Your Child's Education: Grades 6-8

4 min read

Keep Running Your Race

Jul 29, 2020 9:00 PM

There seems to be a growing sense of apathy because of all the change, uncertainty, unpredictability that we are living in these days. None of us know what's really going to happen or how it's going to happen, so it can feel hard to get excited and look forward to things that we've been expecting. If you are finding yourself feeling anxious or unmotivated or apathetic, know that you are not alone. It is helpful to identify these feelings and even share them with a trusted friend.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." It may also be helpful to find out that there are others around you feeling the same way. We all have good days, bad days and everything in between!

Upper School Boy

Most of us likely anticipated this season being much shorter than it has become. It certainly feels like a marathon at this point. We undoubtedly long for many things the way they used to be, and may even feel frustrated that we can't do some things we were used to doing every day. Worse yet, we may be experiencing the grief and pain of loss.

Hopefully you are able to identify and hold on to some blessings in this season (time to just be, to sit and reflect, to watch the clouds, take walks, nap in the afternoon, watch one extra show, write notes and cards, journal, listen to music, play your instrument, relearn your instrument, paint, clean out the closets, redecorate, etc.). Thinking about these blessings when we feel exhausted and frustrated and are hurting may help us combat the fatigue and grief brought on by this season.

If we are still trying to live the way we did before March of this year, life will most likely be filled with disappointments and those start to weigh us down and get us down.

Perhaps you can find some strength by starting each day in remembering that God directs our paths, even in this wilderness. He is in control. It is a tough reminder but when we let the "God of all comfort" wrap His arms around us, hold us up and lead the way, understanding His words are true and He is in control, we can possibly catch our breath and begin to see Him at work.

Perhaps you'd find it helpful to meditate on and/or journal about His words like these encouraging verses:

“This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us be full of joy and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

“See, I will do a new thing. It will begin happening now. Will you not know about it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

While we may have heard one or both of these verses many times before, they can breathe new life into our spirits in this current season. 

There are so many things we cannot control in our lives--especially right now--but rather than focusing on what is out of our control, we can focus on the things we can control.

We can control our actions.

We can control our attitude.

We can control our reactions and responses.

As we all continue, together, in this marathon, here are some simple reminders meant to help us with the mental and emotional challenges of it all and to encourage us to stay the course.

  • Practice gratitude. In challenging times, gratitude is not necessarily what bubbles to the surface. Rather, it's a muscle that must be exercised and fine tuned routinely.  I recently participated in a gratefulness challenge with a group. We posted three things we were grateful for each day for ten days. This simple action makes a difference. You can do this as a family -- on a poster board, chalkboard wall, somewhere you can see it every day -- it does make a difference!
  • Routine is key! Quarantine + summer = no routine at all for many. It’s time to re-establish if you have gone off the grid, so to speak. See the link below for great ideas on how to help our kids develop positive habits and/or break unhealthy habits.
  • Pursue quality time. We are likely all getting ample time with our immediate family members, but it may be quantity time, not quality time. Be intentional to create moments and space for truly enjoying each other, not just being together. Consider limiting the news and conversations around the kids about all the issues in the news. The children need to know they are safe, have a place to share their thoughts and possible fears.
  • Pray together!

Helpful Handout from Nationwide Children's Hospital's On Their Sleeves initiative:

How to help kids develop healthy habits

We are all experiencing this season uniquely and are being impacted differently. We are truly all in this together! 

Nancy Secrest
Written by Nancy Secrest

With degrees in education, Christian psychology, and school counseling, Nancy is dually licensed as a Clinical Pastoral Counselor and School Counselor. She taught second grade and kindergarten for Dublin City Schools and started Blessings Unlimited Christian Counseling. She served on staff at Worthington Christian School as Student Services Coordinator, Psychology teacher, and most recently as school counselor.